indieBRAG Blog

Susan Weintrob
Susan Weintrob, our Foodie Lit writer, is a food blogger and reviewer on her website, Susan grew up around food and its prep. Her father owned a deli and catering business, which taught her the key components of the industry. "Writing food blogs is an amazing opportunity. Cooking and talking about food is simply fun and takes me back to memories of my Dad."

How to Read With Your Child

Start Young and Stay With It   At just a few months of age, an infant can look at pictures, listen to your voice, and point to objects on cardboard pages. Guide your child by pointing to the pictures, and say the names of the various objects. By drawing attention to pictures and associating words with both pictures and real-world objects, your child will learn the importance of language. Children learn to love the sound of language before they even notice the existence of printed words on a page. Reading books aloud to children stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world. It helps them develop language and listening skills and prepares them to understand the written word. When the rhythm and melody of language become a part of a child's life, learning to read will be as natural as learning to walk and talk. Even after children learn to read by themselves, it's still important for you to read aloud together. By reading stories that are on their interest level, but beyond their reading level, you can stretch young readers' understanding and motivate them to improve their skills. It's Part of Life Although the life of a…

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  Reading, and reading well, is the single most important advantage you can give your child. Not only does it provide advantages for better leaning, it develops a child's sense of imagination – one of the most important means of creating a better world for us all. Imagination fuels the minds of inventors and researchers, it expands our horizon in science, medicine, transportation ... well you get it. Create imagination in our children and create a better world. We all know that reading is a good thing, but below are thoughts on just how reading to your child between the ages of two to five can benefit both the child and the parent. 1. A stronger relationship with you. As your child grows older, he'll be on the move—playing, running, and constantly exploring his environment. Snuggling up with a book lets the two of you slow down and recaptures that sweet, cuddly time you enjoyed when he was a baby. Instead of being seen as a chore or a task, reading will become a nurturing activity that will bring the two of you closer together. 2. Academic excellence. One of the primary benefits of reading to toddlers and preschoolers is…

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How important is reading? Just check out these statistics!

 Over the next several postings, we will be opening up a discussion on the importance of reading to and with your children.   The average kindergarten student has seen more than 5,000 hours of television- spending more time in front of the TV than it takes to earn a bachelor's degree! Unfortunately, people are not reading as much as they used to. Less than a third of 13-year-olds were daily readers in 2007, a 14 percent decline from 20 years earlier. For 17-year-olds, the percentage of non-readers doubled over a 20 year period. It is estimated that more than $2 billion is spent each year on students who repeat a grade because they have reading problems. 60 percent of America's prison inmates are illiterate and 85% of all juvenile offenders have reading problems. U.S. adults ranked 12th among 20 high income countries in composite (document, prose, and quantitative) literacy. More than three out of four of those on welfare, 85% of unwed mothers and 68% of those arrested are illiterate. Approximately 50 percent of the nation's unemployed youth age 16-21 are functional illiterate, with virtually no prospects of obtaining good jobs. Children who have not developed some basic literacy skills…

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Quintspinner – Dianne Greenlay

Author Interview:  Dianne Greenlay Read more about B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree authors at: Stephanie: Born and raised on the Canadian prairies, Dianne Greenlay is the author of the hilarious story, THE CAMPING GUY, as well as QUINTSPINNER – A PIRATE'S QUEST and DEADLY MISFORTUNE, Books One and Two in a fast-paced award – winning adventure series, set in the 1700′s, in the pirate-infested waters of the West Indies. Greenlay is also a playwright, producer, and Creative Director of the long-running community theater group, Darkhorse Theatre. She is fluent in at least her mother tongue and she thanks her fierce English teachers for that. More of her thoughts on life can be found at Dianne, it is a pleasure to be speaking with you today! Congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion. I've heard wonderful things about your novel, Quintspinner: A Pirate's Quest. Please tell me a little about your story? Dianne: Thank you Stephanie! I am so pleased to have Quintspinner be awarded the BRAG Medallion. It is a story of Tess Willoughby, a young woman living in the 1700′s who, upon witnessing the murder of an old Seer, comes into possession of the woman's strange Spinner ring. As though this…

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United State of Love – Sue Fortin

Author Interview: Sue Fortin Read more about B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree authors at: Stephanie: Sue Fortin writes women’s fiction; contemporary, suspense and time-slip, all with romance and a touch of danger. Lover of cake, France and dragonflies. Hater of calories, maths and snakes. Sue lives in West Sussex with her family and daft, old Labrador called Tess. She writes for the on-line emag, Loveahappyending Lifestyle Magazine, about crafts and hobbies. She is one ninth of The Romaniacs where she blogs regularly and, when not there, can be found at her own blog, Love Reading, Love Books, LLM Bookshelf, on Twitter and on Facebook. Sue is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association under their New Writers’ Scheme and published her award winning, debut novel ‘United State of Love‘ in 2012. This is available in both paperback and digital format through Amazon. Hello Sue! Congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion and I'm delighted to be chatting with you today. Pease tell me about your book, United State of Love. Sue: Hi Stephanie, thank you so much, I was absolutely thrilled my book received the BRAG Medallion. I'm delighted to be here, it's a real honour. Okay, my book United State of Love,…

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Leaving Lukens – Laura Wharton

Author Interview: Laura Wharton Read more about B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree authors at: Stephanie: Hello Laura! Thank you for chatting with me today about your book and congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion. I noticed your story (Leaving Lukens) is set in 1942 and it's a mystery. Please tell me a little about it and who designed your book cover. Laura: Leaving Lukens is the story of 17-year-old Ella who faces leaving the only home she's ever known: Lukens, a small fishing village on an isolated peninsula across the river from Oriental, North Carolina. Impacted by the economy, the threat of war, and the loss of a school teacher who was rowed across the river daily to teach the few remaining children in Lukens, the townspeople are dismantling their homes and floating them across the river on barges to larger communities of Oriental and Beaufort – moving away to find work in New Bern with its growing shipyard which is hiring to build minesweepers in support of the war or to the nearby military base of Cherry Point. Ella's convinced she can stay on by herself, but spying a Nazi patrol raft surprises her one evening. She quickly learns that the war…

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    "Self-Published Authors Are Destroying Literature" cried one blogger recently. And he is not alone in his thinking: the vast majority in the traditional publishing world agree with him. But while this view is an over-simplification of a complex issue, there is a bedrock of truth beneath this topsoil of hysteria.The literary world is undergoing an upheaval unequalled since the invention of the printing press. For nearly five hundred years following its first appearance in the fifteenth century, only those authors whom the gods of publishing deemed worthy ever saw the fruit of their labors printed, bound and made available to the reading public. And while the appearance of so-called 'vanity presses' in the mid-twentieth century made it possible for others to have their books published, the enormous expense associated with this approach placed it beyond the reach of all but a privileged few. However, the advent of print-on-demand technology in the late 1990's changed everything, and from that point on nothing will ever be the same again in the world of book publishing.The good news is that now literally anyone can publish a book. The bad news is that now literally anyone can publish a book. And the…

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IndieBRAG Virtual Blog tour!

    Traveling the country to make appearances and doing book signings is just not economically feasible for most of us today. On top of the cost, most self-published authors aren't able to get into many books stores. A blog tour enables an author to reach out to their fans through a different blogger for a certain number of days. These varied and different bloggers speak with the author and review their books; in some cases they offer book giveaways – all from the comfort of your home and computer! Today we begin our very first indieBRAG Blog Tour. Bloggers will be visiting with Paula Lofting to discuss her book Sons of the Wolf. Each day a different blogger will share their discussion with Paula and their thoughts on her wonderful book (a B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree!). Without getting out of your PJ's or kicking off your bunny slippers, you can visit with Paula and become a fan, leave your thoughts on the discussion and order a book! How easy and how much fun is that? An author gets the opportunity to meet their fans and gather their thoughts, reaching many more readers than they could by spending thousands of dollars traveling…

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Saving Halloween – Lisa Ard

Author Interview: Lisa Ard Read more about B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree authors at: Stephanie: Author Lisa Ard is a children's book author AND avid reader, stay-at-home mom, part-time business consultant, school volunteer, library board president, Sunday school teacher, book club member, chauffeur, volleyball coach, wife and mom, not necessarily in that order. She lives in Portland, Oregon. Lisa, congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion. Please tell me about your book, "Saving Halloween." Lisa: "Saving Halloween" is a magical story about discovering one's true family. Anne Hudson meets a very unusual friend and through their friendship, she learns what she needs and she goes after it. Her journey is not without bumps in the road, and the path is not always clear – magic plays a part in that! I hope readers enjoy the deception within the story – in what characters say, do, even in their names. Book Blurb:When book-smart Anne Parson meets Halloween Spavento, she sees exactly what she wants to see — a friend. Halloween wave's away trouble, magically silences school bullies and offers Anne unfailing friendship. But, when the Spavento family's enchanting exploits are exposed, will Anne face her fears and save Halloween? A spellbinding tale of outcasts…

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Writing for the Reader and Not Writing to Sell to the Reader (Or, How I Fought the War with the Amazons and Won!)

More from author Jim Musgrave- When I wrote my first historical detective mystery, Forevermore, I had a clear goal in mind: I wanted to write the best story for my reader to enjoy. This is the goal of every independent author out there, and the reason I want to communicate this fact of indie publishing is that many of the "big publishing houses" are not publishing the best stories for their readers. Please allow me to elucidate. I have been published by a big publisher. It was called "Harcourt-Brace," and it was the small professional arm of the corporation, "AP Professional Press" that published my book, The Digital Scribe: A Writer's Guide to Electronic Media. Notice the quaint reference to "electronic media." Back in the late nineties, we were still bedazzled by the newness of digital technology and its "multimedia" aspect. Today, digital multimedia is part and parcel of most of the "packaged novels" that get submitted by the big agents out there. They've already looked ahead to all the money to be made on movies, computer games, translations, Chinese edited versions, ads on the walls of urinals, and on and on with the corporate merchandising aspect of business. This…

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